Jennifer Kupcho’s Quick Begin in Golf
Jennifer Kupcho received the inaugural Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Beginner in 2019. After a stellar collegiate profession at Wake Forest College, she entered the occasion because the No.-1 ranked beginner on the earth. Within the closing spherical, the weekend earlier than Tiger Woods would win his fifth Masters championship on the identical course, Kupcho confronted Maria Fassi.
Within the final six holes, Kupcho rallied to go 5 underneath par and beat Fassi by 4 strokes. Quickly after, Kupcho turned professional, and has received over $1 million in her first two seasons.
Forward of the second Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Beginner, Kupcho, 23, shared her expertise, together with initially turning down her invitation to Augusta. The interview has been edited and condensed.
What was it wish to get that invitation to the primary Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Beginner?
After I truly received the invite, I turned it down. I had gotten my L.P.G.A. card and determined to defer it so I might return to highschool. The rationale I used to be going again was to be with my group. We had quite a lot of tournaments lined up that spring. Initially it could have been too many tournaments. A month later, one in every of my tournaments received canceled. I talked it over with my faculty coaches and my dad and mom. I requested Augusta in the event that they’d let me again in. At that time I used to be No. 1 on the earth.
What did Augusta say whenever you turned down the invite?
(Laughs.) I don’t keep in mind precisely. My dad did quite a lot of my journey stuff once I was an beginner. He did make me e mail the match director myself to ask in the event that they nonetheless had a spot.
What was the match week like?
I had an occasion the week earlier than, with my group. My dad and mom got here, and all of us drove down in my Honda Civic from faculty. I received to play Augusta two years earlier than with the Wake Forest group. It was good to have already performed it. I had already been awe-struck. After we first confirmed up, we received handled like royalty. It was so effectively organized. It was in all probability the most effective match I’ve ever performed, even to this present day as an expert golfer. After the primary evening, I mentioned I’m glad I’m taking part in on this.
What was the sensation among the many different opponents at Augusta?
We had been all simply so excited to go play Augusta. Maria and I had a good lead over the opposite women. I felt like I used to be going into battle with Maria, however we had been additionally simply such good associates from faculty golf.
What had been you pondering within the closing spherical?
I nonetheless assume to this present day that it’s loopy. It’s like my physique simply took over. That’s true for all occasions. I observe a lot that my physique simply takes over to the place I’m simply fascinated with yardages and the way am I going to hit this shot.
What did it really feel like after you received it?
I used to be so in shock. I had a lot adrenaline. It’s onerous to explain the emotions. I didn’t embrace it for months later. Even in interviews, I used to be like, I received a match. It didn’t really feel huge to me. However now it ranks very excessive for certain. It’s a really huge second in my profession.
What’s going to you be pondering this yr watching the second Girls’s Beginner?
The very first thing that involves thoughts is how are these women going to observe up what Maria and I did. After that, I feel, who’s going to win and do they notice how a lot that is going to alter their life? I undoubtedly didn’t.
What has turning professional been like for you in contrast along with your beginner and collegiate profession?
The most important adjustment has in all probability been in my schedule. As an expert, I’m taking part in nearly each week, touring all around the world. Throughout my beginner and collegiate profession, I had way more time in between tournaments to observe and get better, so it was a bit extra manageable.
One other adjustment has been the power of my competitors. There’s a lot expertise on the L.P.G.A., and I’m taking part in in opposition to the most effective gamers on the earth each week.